Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker Review

Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker Review

Buy it at Amazon: Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use, a cinch to clean; but fine adjustments to temperature are not possible, especially in F. Still makes amazing restaurant quality food.

If you're not familiar with sous vide, it's a method of cooking food in a vacuum sealed bag to a precise temperature using a water bath. The reason you'd want to do this is that the food will always finish at the precise temperature and doneness all the way through since it would be impossible to overcook anything in a water bath that never exceeds your finish temperature. The sous vide machine is the temperature controller and heater for the water bath and my review will explain to you exactly the kinds of results you can expect with this unit.

You'll receive the immersion sous vide cooker, a clear plastic pump cover, an instruction manual, and a short cookbook. The bottom portion of the immersion cooker is made of stainless steel while the top portion is made of plastic and cannot be submerged. The length of the unit is 14.5", 15" with the pump cover and the diameter of the tube is 2-1/4". This plastic propeller is the water pump impeller which needs to be covered by the pump cover during operation. The pump cover has three teeth on it to catch on the tube but note that they are different sizes so it only goes on one way, you'll need to line up the arrow which is directly below the min and max water lines to the ridge on the pump cover and then twist to lock it in place. The immersion cooker is held in place in the water bath by this strong plastic side clamp. The inside of the clamp has a silicone pad on it to 1. Help grip the container better and two prevent scratches to your cookware. The maximum thickness of the vessel wall is 3/8". The 6-3/8" metal housing over the heating element can be removed for cleaning if necessary. Simply turn towards the unlock symbol and pull straight down. When reassembling, make sure to line up the arrow with the lock symbol, then turn counter clockwise.

On top of the unit you have the touchscreen display and controls, which measures 3" by 2.5". The power cord is about 50" long and has a 3-prong grounded plug. The sous vide machine is pretty simple to use and operate. Just clamp it to a pot or heat proof vessel filled with water (the water bath). Anything that can be used on a stovetop and can hold over 2.5" water should work fine, like a large stock pot. The water should be above the minimum water level line and below the max level line. I've used large stock pots, but the Rubbermaid 12 Qt Food Storage container works well too, a favorite vessel of sous vide chefs. The unit enters standby mode when plugged in (red LED above the screen) and the temperature units will show on the screen. If you want to change the unit of measure from Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice versa, touch and hold the power button for 3 seconds. Initially I thought my screen was a bit scratched up out of the box, but then I realized it's actually got a thin blue plastic protective film over it. I decided to leave it on to keep the screen clean and prevent actual scratches, but if you don't like how it looks, you can certainly peel it off.

To turn the unit on, just tap the power button and it'll display the last settings that you used. The large blinking numbers up top is the target temperature which in Fahrenheit can be adjusted in 5 degree from 0°F to 194°F using the plus and minus buttons on the left. In Celsius adjustments are made in 0.5° increments up to 90°C. Then to lock the target temperature and adjust the time, tap the gear icon. Set the hours and minutes separately using the plus and minus keys and tapping the gear icon to save each setting. The maximum cooking time that can be set is 99 hours and 59 minutes. Once you have the settings you want, tap the power icon to begin heating the water bath. It takes a while to heat up the water bath to your target temperature, and on average it takes 1 minute to raise the water temperature in 8-10 quarts of water 3-4 degrees. If you need to change your settings on the fly, you can hold the gear icon and make any adjustments before tapping the power button to continue. If you want to stop cooking, just press and hold the power button. When checking the accuracy of the sous vide's temperature I found that it was consistently about 2 degrees above my calibrated instant read thermometer. This was true using multiple thermometers like this instant read which is showing 108°F which the unit shows 110°F. In Celsius, it was reading about 0.6 degrees above the instant read thermometer, so it seems the calibration of the sous vide simply runs a bit high. That's preferable to running on the low side as the actual finishing temperature of your food will be a couple degrees lower than you set, limiting the chance that your food will be overcooked.

While preheating the LED indicator on top will be a solid color but when it reaches the target temperature, the LED starts flashing (the unit beeps as well) and the cook timer will start to countdown immediately. So far I've made several dishes withe the sous vide including sirloin steak, soft cooked eggs, and chicken breast. All of the food came out tender, moist, and full of flavor. I didn't try any of the recipes in the cookbook as it is quite limited, but searching online for recipes turns out hundreds for you to choose from. Overall, I was pretty happy with the cooking results of the Awake Lion sous vide cooker. Even though you can't set the temperature precisely down to the degree or even fraction of a degree that other brand immersion sous vide cookers can, the results of using the machine for cooking were quite good and the meals we've made with it so far were amazing. At least the temperature readings run a little high, so the possibility of overcooking is minimized and for most foods this won't be an issue anyway. It's easy to use and clean and you can certainly make some tasty and enjoyable meals with it.

Buy it at Amazon: Awake Lion Sous Vide Immersion Cooker [Affiliate Link]


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